Newcastle United will be without key midfielder Matt Ritchie for their visit to Everton on Wednesday, after the Scotland International picked up his fifth booking of the season, resulting in a one-match suspension.

Ritchie was substituted in the second half by Rafael Benitez as the Magpies suffered a 3-0 defeat at home to West Ham United. 

Winger Christian Atsu is likely to replace the 29-year-old when Newcastle line up at Goodison Park to face Everton, with Jacob Murphy also pushing for a start.


Newcastle's run of three straight victories came to a halt on Saturday after a brace from Javier Hernandez and a classy late goal from Felipe Anderson secured the points for their opponents.

Talking to The Chronicle about the possibility of rotating his team for the trip to Merseyside, Benitez said: "It depends on each game.

"Obviously if you can bring new players in, everybody will be on their toes and it can be positive, but it depends on the game."


With the Magpies playing six games in December, there is a concern that an already threadbare squad may not be able to deliver consistent performances.

Discussing the issue of fixture congestion, Benitez admitted: "I am sure we will have some problems because there are too many games in a row and we will have some injuries or some players tired or whatever, so everybody has to be ready and everybody will be important."

It is unclear whether Newcastle United will be able to add to their squad in the January transfer window following the well-documented lack of spending by owner Mike Ashley. 

Since the Magpies achieved promotion back to the Premier League in 2017, Benitez has had to operate on an extremely tight budget, limiting the amount of players that he has been able to bring in.

Whilst the likes of Brighton, Huddersfield, Wolves and Fulham have all broken their transfer records after achieving promotion from the Championship, Newcastle's record signing dates back to 2005 when they bought Michael Owen for £16.8m.